CAL fined $50k by US

| 15/11/2010

(CNS): Following Cayman Airways Limited’s failure to submit an annual report regarding disability access, on time, the airline has been fined by the US authorities and ordered to cease and desist from failing to meet the reporting requirement. According to public records at the US Department of Transportation, the $50,000 fine concerns violations by CAL of the requirements to file annual reports detailing disability-related complaints that the carrier received from passengers in 2009 following previous warnings over the same issue when it failed to file reports in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Although CAL said it did not receive any disability related complains last year, the authorities said the airline is still obligated to submit a report.

Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) all airlines flying into US cities must comply with this requirement and file a report before the end of January regarding disability complaints made by passengers in the previous year. The public order against the Cayman Islands national flag carrier reveals that the airline did not submit a report until April 2010, despite repeated inquiries fromthe Aviation Consumer Protection Division.

“Cayman Airways violated section 382.157 and the ACAA when it did not submit reports in a timely manner that detailed the disability-related complaints that it received in calendar years 2009 regarding flights originating or terminating in the United States,” the order states. “We view seriously Cayman Airways’ continued failure to submit the reports on time as required by section 382.157. Accordingly, after carefully considering all the facts in this case … the Enforcement Office believes that enforcement action is warranted.”

The order revealed that to avoid litigation Cayman Airways had agreed to settle these matters with the Enforcement Office and enter into this consent order directing Cayman Airways to cease and desist from future similar violations of Part 382 and 49 U.S.C. § 41705, and assessing $50,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties otherwise due and payable.

The order stated that the fine was appropriate and served the public interest. “It represents an adequate deterrence to future noncompliance with the Department’s reporting requirements by Cayman Airways, as well as by other domestic and foreign air carriers,” it reads.

See order here 

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  1. anonymous... says:

    Reports not filed in 2004, 2005 2006?? As a person with a disabled relative, I am aware that the disabled law came into effect 
    in May 2008, therefore it appears only a 2009 report was not filed??
    Human error does exist and I must say Cayman Airways treats me and my disabled relatived with much care and attention. 

  2. MER says:

    LMAO!! Why? Why does anything that our Government has any part of never capable of doing ANYTHING on time?!

    And now we think we can drag this same BS manner of thinking and getting things done to other parts of the world!!!

    Government departments won’t file financial reports on time to the auditor, we don’t meet deadlines (like the court ordered 14 day deadline for Jacques Scott’s review on liquor licensing!)

    Do we really think this kind of behaviour is going to be accepted and over-looked in other countries, NO, this is simply a Cayman Islands BS way of handling BUSINESS!!! What a mess, now we have to fork out $50,000 in money Gov or CAL does not have to pay an avoidable, unnecessary fee, I could think of ssssssssssooooooooooo many other things Gov could be spending that on right now!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You think this is bad…. Had an expat friend that they made redundant right after they signed a contract with him. CAL had to pay out his wages for 18 months. Ha Ha Ha! He laughed all the way to the bank. They had to pay pension on his payout too…. This type of stupidity is why CAL is always in the red.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Had an expat friend that they made redundant right after they signed a contract with him. CAL had to pay out his wages for 18 months".

      There is no way that a genuine redundancy immediately following a hire would entitle anyone to an 18 month salary payout whether under Cayman Islands law or any other law.    

  4. anonymous says:

    In response to Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/16/2010 – 12:43.

    Anonymous wanted to know why Bahamasair received a lesser fine for doing practically the same thing as Cayman Airways – perhaps something even worse.  He/She/It then asked if maybe the US has something against Cayman…

    And the answer is, tada, drumrolls please…YES, they hate you.  Happy now?  Why bother asking this silly question?  Are you two years old?  The fact is, Cayman Airways did not fulfill its responsibilities and was therefore fined.  What any other airlines have been fined or not been fined is immaterial.  Period.  If Cayman Airways wants to avoid further fines it ought to file proper reports on time. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Er…no. It is not immaterial. Like treatment for like cases is a basic principle of justice. I don’t know the facts of the cases so I am not making a definitive statement about unfairness, but the principle of the matter is quite clear.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think that is an issue you should take up with CAL’s PR Officer.


    Thank you for letting us know he retired though, he is a great pilot!

  6. Anonymous says:

     I guess "island time" isn’t good enough for the US! 

    Soon come, soon come 😉

    Another wake-up call for the government, although they’re so deep asleep that it’s unlikely they’ll ever stop sleeping. At least they get to dream big.

  7. Anonymous says:



    How about posting something positive about the airline, for instance, Captain Steve Scott’s recent retirement after being a pilot with the National Airline for 30 years. Not one newspaper or online blog even bothered to mention this great Caymanian’s accomplishments.

    I know that negative news gets more attention but Lord know we could use some positive pieces on here ever so often.

    Tired of hearing all of the bad news and negative innuendo. Christmas is coming, let’s get in the spirit!!!


    BTW: Thank you Capt. Steve  Scott for 30 wonderful years, you are one of the best!!


    • Jumbles says:

      What a magnificent achievement which should be listed in the Compass’s section "Absolutely run of the mill things which are apparently special because they have been done by a Caymanian".

  8. Anonymous says:

    what a waste of an airline, shut it down and save millions

    • awlymillykins says:

      And let’s see who takes your behind out of Cayman come next hurricane warning….

  9. Anonymous says:

    These fines are seriously out of line.  If you look at a load of them are there.  What I want to know is how come Bahamasair basically did the same thing (worse actually) and only got a US$15k fine and they hit CAL with so much?  Uncle Sam must have something to prove with Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      CAL should have done better but if you think CAL’s fine is bad, look at Continetal’s fine here  Better yet look at why they were fined…for understating their reports.

      At least CAL had no compliants to report which I can somewhat  understand as a reason for not making a report untill directed by the authorties that they must make a report even if they had no complaints. Not sure about the prior years though, get with the program CAL, Uncle Sam’s systems have little descretion or care for your explanations.

      Interseting also that COPA, (Continentals subsudiary partner in Latin America  was only fined 20K the same breach as CAL. Definite favoritism toward the US owned carriers with the leniency of the fines, or maybe they were better at BSing the US authorties than CAL was.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The manager responsible and the acting CEO should be docked from their pay to recover these funds.  I wouldn’t even consider that though.  I would just fire them both.  They seem too busy travelling around to conferences to get their job done.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you were to fire all those workers who have failed to perform their jobs and those responsible for managing them in the CIG who would be left?  This is the way Government (works?) here.  Its also why it is so hard to get anything done correctly and on time from Immigration, planning, licensing,etc., etc.,etc.

      CIG hires family and friends above skill, experiance, and most of all competence. Explains why so much is spent on paychecks and so little is accomplished.

    • Anonymous says:

      The acting CEO travelling around on conferences? Now you are making stuff up. That man works 14 hour days, doesnt take vacation, doesn’t even eat lunch and definiltly has not been travelling around the world attending conferneces.You are lucky if you even see him on a flight. The fine is unfortunate, yes…..but CAL has been on the improve in a big way.

      Fire Them?… Be careful what you wish for…things are better now at CAL in so many ways, a USD 50K fine that was reduced to USD 30K because of positive actions taken by the airline does create some pain but let’s not forget the milions being saved through prudent fiscal and operational managment.

      Is CAL’s managment  perfect? NO…but which show me a business as complex as an airline that does suffer from occasional admisntrative errors and I will eat my hat. The key to preventng matters like this from occuring is having good systems in place. The current acting CEO is known as a "systems man" someone who is extremely systematic, who with a strong engineering background is excellent at designing and implementing systems with safguards that negate human error.

      I am willing to bet that you wont see this fine again, unless of course the musical chairs with CAL’s senior managment continues. Given the constant instability that has plagued CAL managment in the past, it’s a miracle that CAL is even still around. Our country needs CAL as a tool to accomplish work that foreign airlines cannot accomplish while making the kind of economic contribution to Cayman CAL does through employment and local spending. 

      The current Board and Mangement have been succesfull in putting an end to the fiscal bleed and they are a competent bunch. If this fine was a result of incomepetence or gross negligence I have every confidence the Board  would have taken the required actions six months ago when the fine occured. 

      Mr. Whorms and the CAL team, keep your chin up, the road to sucess is not paved with gold, keep on persevering and leading by example and CAL will earn it’s rightful pride of place.

      It’s about time we as acountry stop bashing CAL and put our support behind our national airline, these are serious times and the negativity and national past time of witch hunting is not doing our country any good.

      • Anonymous says:

        i’ll stop bashing them when they stop charging me CI$300 for a 70 min flight to miami!

        • Anonymous says:

          $300.00 to Miami?  Fly American Airlines or U.S. instead.  You have a choice.

          • Alan Nivia says:

            We don’t have a choice in what we pay because CAL is run so badly.  United and American could charge much less but because of treaty obligations their fares cannot undercut CAL.  So we all have to suffer.

          • Anonymous says:

            there is no choice…..other airlines are not allowed to undercut cal!

            • Anonymous says:

              Did you not hear out Deregulation of teh airline industry years ago……..there is  free competetion on fares.

              AA can do whatever they want and if CAL wasn’t there to keep the fares reasonable with all teh accriers, you would see much higher fares.

              Also remember that when you pay that 300, only 200 goes to CAL….the rest is airport and security taxes and fees. Trust me, Cayman has it pretty good with airfares and dont realise it….enough already.

        • Anonymous says:

          I wish people would stop promoting the myth that fares to Miami would be a lot cheaper if only there were no Cayman Airways. There is no Cayman Airways (or any other local carrier) from Providenciales to Miami but American charges pretty much the same fare as it does on the Cayman route. The fact is that AA does sometimes charge lower fares simply to undercut Cayman Airways even as it did to drive them out of Turks and Caicos and then promptly raised prices. Chances are if AA didn’t have KX to contend with their fares would be even higher.  

    • Anonymous says:

      We might be able to understand why the 2004 deadline was missed (hurricane ivan) but what was the excuse in subsequent years? 

    • awlymillykins says:

      And just who do you suggest be the CEO??? CAL has the best CEO it has ever had…A man who is working his rear end off to get it back on track and with his "NO BS" attitude, he will be doing just that!! 
      Airlines get fined left, right, front and center, for every little insignificant issue and sometimes it seems the airport authorities are only looking to put airlines out of business!!

      Check the links sent in other replys to see what airlines have to put up with….

  11. Anonymous says:

    How much was just borrowed to subsidise CAL and now a fine of $50,000?  Very impressive – sure UK will be happy to see this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Forget the UK. How about the people of Cayman?

      We are the ones paying for this, not the UK.

      • Anonymous says:

        UK could implement direct taxes when they see the borrowing is being wasted.  That’s why you shouldn’t forget the UK.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Please dont get me wrong as a caymaian i ‘m very proud of our National Airlines and the Pilots are outstanding . But my question is why is it that who ever is responiable to file these reports cant do so I can understand 1 year but four years we the people of these countries CAN NOT afford to travel left a lone keep bailing out the Airlines for Neglients on individuals for there mess up or is this one of Mr. Bush Plots to sell the airlines nothen wouldnt surprise me with this man all I no is who ever is responsiable for this should be FIRED.









  13. Anonymous says:

    This is how it happens in most places, reports expected in a timely manner. This was not a request by the auditor general for local civil service accounts where the same attitude seems to have been applied. Lets hope relevant departments reflect on this and realize why some things have to be done appropriately

  14. Anonymous says:

    As usual the Cayman Islands feel that they cando what they want – Uncle Sam show dem dey cant though. What a waste of money – the head of department should be held responsible for this. Unless they have hundreds of complaints how difficult is it to submit a report of this type on time and even with hundreds of complaints they have more than enough staff to handle this type of reporting. It just also shows the contempt that they probably have to the person who was lodging the complaint. When complaining to CAL about anything inevitably you get no positive response any how. It is just another government department and it their way or the highway.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know what you talking about – I think their service is great.

  15. Bobby Anonymous says:


    Let’s see now. I have a car that has no inspection because I can’t be bothered and the thing is costing me a fortune to run, but then it was my fathers and he called it "Junka". I also need to borrow thousands every year to keep the thing going and it has me struggling for money. I could sell it, but they may not call it "Junka" anymore.  What should I do? Bye bye car I am going to miss ya!!!

    Sound familiar?

    A prime example of how and why CAL is and has been costing Cayman money for years.

    Get rid of it!  Privatize the airline, you can keep the name if you must, but a name and debt along with poor management will not bring in the tourists.

    Government, face it and make a very sensible business decision.

    Millions saved, problem gone.

    Anyone know where I can get a annual financial report for CAL without going to FOI?  After all it is a public company.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well, they can bend the laws and regulations in Cayman, but obviously that doesn’t apply to other countries where they will be held responsible for their incompetence! A hard pill to swallow for the people of this Island who will have to foot this bill, and I am sure it doesn’t exactly serve to enhance Cayman Airway’s reputation within the airline industry.


  17. Anonymous says:

     The minister responsible should have to personally pay this unnecessary fine. I guess he is too busy partying around the world to worry about such insignificant spending.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at the years before placing blame,, the majority of this was under Chuckie’s watch….PPM

      • Anonymous says:

        Since we are going to play party politics with here we go: AND UDP STILL DIDN’T CORRET IT!

        Conclusion: UDP and PPM both suck and are ineffective options for leadership. End of story!

        I’m not a party person but the incompetience runs the gammot between the 2 parties.

      • Pending says:

        Who the F cares if its PPM or UDP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone knows about this in both parties and have refused to do anything about for 4years.

        The point is that  the US Authourities have been telling whoever at CAL about this and they failed to do anything about it. How the F can you turn a blind eye to threat of a $50,000 fine from th US? Who is the retard? Why do they still have a job?

        Were they thinking that if they closed their eyes it would disappear? I wonder how many other fines are payed like this?  I bet if they ignore a $50,000 threat there has to be many many more of a lesser value.

    • Anonymous says:

      No fan of this govt but the minister is not involved with the daily management issues.

      The CAL manager responsible should be held accountable not the minister.

      However, the minister can use this to put pressure on CAL’s management.

  18. John Evans says:

    I wonder if this is the same department of CAL that let my former employer run up a $220K bill for air freight?

    It makes you wonder what other mandatory record keeping and reporting requirements are being ignored.

    • Anonymous says:

      The current bunch running CAL cut your old bosses credit off and removed his newspapers from the plane, didn’t you hear about it?

  19. Absurdistani says:

    What a waste of $50K. This could have easily been avoided. Think of how many school children could have had lunches or an extra teacher for a year. Think of how many vaccinations this could have bought.

    Who will be held responsible for this? No one, of course.

    Just another day in Absurdistan.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Um…you know, it’s not that difficult to know that you have to file reports once per year for things in business.  I mean, hello, companies have to file annual reports with government, government has to file annual fiscal reports, workers have to have a review a couple of times a year.

    Post-it note perhaps might help? 

    That, or get rid of the XXXX that has this particular responsibility in their job description and replace with somebody who has a XXXX calendar. 

    $50k is a lot to pay for negligent stupidity.  But hey, who needs to worry about $50k anyway?   It’s just government subsidized cash, from public coffers…you know…a bottomless pit of indentured servitude cash…lol

  21. Anonymous says:

    These types of ridiculously high fines are common in the airline industry.  Once the shock factor wears off, the authorities and the airline work to mitigate the fine down to nothing or a fraction of the original amount.  Nonetheless, it is certainly a good incentive to make sure a problem doesn’t happen again.

    If I recall correctly, the US Gov’t charges airlines something like $5,000 per passenger if there are any problems with an individual’s immigration status (even if a passport number is off by one digit).  The CI Gov’t charges less, but still high numbers for people coming this way.  No wonder it takes so long at the counter and the airlines give us such grief if everything isn’t perfect.

  22. reality says:

    so someone’s laziness has costed the tax payer 50,000.

    Think how nice the Premiers house could have looked with that money spent on a more worthwhile cause like the Premier’s Christmas nights

  23. Anonymous says:

    who was responsible for ensuring this report was submitted? as much debt CAL is in this could have been avoided..can’t blame the minister here…i’m sure a head of a department was responsible for getting this done

  24. Anonymous says:

    ahh…who cares…. the residents of the cayman islands will pay for it…just like all the other losses and wastage of cayman airways…..

    this would just not happen with a private company and if it did, someone would lose their job….. don’t hold your breath on somebody being fired in cayman airways…….zzzzzz 

  25. Anonymous says:

    No wonder the government is in such a deep financial hole.

    CAL is happy to pay a $50,000.00 fine because it is too disorganized to submit a $250.00 report.

    Is this another target for the Auditor General? Is this $50,000.00 good value for money?



  26. Anonymous says:

    We can just raise company filing fees again, no problem.

  27. Anonymous says:

     There goes more money down the drain.  Can we do anything in a timely manner?  This "soon come" attitude doesn’t work all over the world just in Cayman.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Good management tourism minister. The buck stops at the top, so obviously we must blame the premier for this very embarrassing incident. It falls under his porfoilio & his watch. Well done Mac (not really).

  29. Psimple Psimon says:

    Someone must lose their job over this.


  30. My2cents says:

     I hope the manager responsible for filing this return will be fired for wasting $50k of public money?

  31. Anonymous says:

    More incompetence and waste.

    Perhaps the responsible people in CAL management believe that just because certain  politicians act as though they are above the law, then airline management shouldn’t have to follow the law either. After all, they are both wasting our money.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Soon Come culture doesnt work so well with other governments and deadlines.  This should be truly embarassing and someone ought to be updating their resume over this.

  33. Anonymous says:

     But we don’t file reports here

    • Anonymous says:

      Well spotted sir or madam!

      None of your governmental offices completes their reports, this one cost you an external fine, but the failure to complete internal reports costs you much more. It means that the internal discipline of an audit becomes worthless, this in turn means that your leaders and MLA’s dont have to be concerned that the audit might spot "misdeeds or wrong doing" not that any of them could be accused of such!

      Whilst on that subject, why didnt the auditor make more fuss of the loan facility debacle?

      Maybe he knew that if he did, he would follow the previous and effective man down the exit tube!

      • Reason says:

         I used to work with Mr Whorms at C&W and he really is an intelligent man.  Yes, whoever was supposed to file this report should be fired or demoted.

        Also, whoever made the decision to ditch the Horizons magazine and give the business to an American overseas firm made a HUGE mistake.  The new magazine sucks andhas not local flare…..probably cost a bundle for this mistake too!!!

        CAL should only have locals working in customer facing jobs too….this is supposed to represent our island.  Come on guys, use your brains!

        • Anonymouse says:

          The Mr. Whorms at C&W and the Mr Whorms at CAL are two different people with similiar names. Both are however proficient in their skills and fields of expertise.

          The persons responsible for changing the Airlines Magazine and for several of the previous years of failure to file the reports for which the Airline is now fined would be from the previous Board and Management.

          It is sad to know that the present Management and Board has to take blame for this fine but it must be understood that the present Management and Board has had so much mess to clean that somethings obviously had to fall through the crack. This is unfortunate because the present Board and Management is really working very diligently to bring some form of stability to the operation of the airline.

          Hopefully the US Government will see fit to reduce this fine to a minimum level whilst making their point that you comply with the rules or Pay. I bet that this will never happen again under the present Management and Board.

          • Anonymous says:

            There are 2 Fabion Worms, they are cousins and their fathers are originally from the Brac. One is a top technician with LIME and the one with CAL has been the boss at the aircraft maintenance and repair division for about 10 years or so before he was made the MD late last year. I understand he is a highly qualified aironautics engineer withgood business skills but maybe it’s time that CAL get a veteran CEO from one of the big airlines in the US or Europe, as running CAL must be one of the most demanding and challenging  jobs in Cayman. We should have the very best, not the best we can do with what we have. Pride of being able to say we have a local running the airline should not be the motivation as to who is choosen here as too much is at stake. Let Mr. Worms go back to doing what he is bestat which is to maintain the planes.

            Also, in reference your last point about maybe having the fine rduced, the compass reported that CAL gave an explanation back in April to the US authorities and  fixed the problem going forward and that the fine was actually reduced by about half the amount so CAL only paid 25 thousand instead of 50, so there is a small bit of good news in this debackle and to be fair, we should give whoever was resposnible for getting the fine reduced some credit for minimising the cost to us taxpayers, if the compass report is accurate.

            • Anonymous says:

              "I understand he is a highly qualified aironautics engineer with good business skills but maybe it’s time that CAL get a veteran CEO from one of the big airlines in the US or Europe, as running CAL must be one of the most demanding and challenging  jobs in Cayman".

              Not sure where you’ve been but we did that for a number of years. Does the name Patrick Strasburger mean anything to you? Mr. Whorms is performing somewhat better than they did.

              • awlymillykins says:

                Mr. Fabian Whorms is doing an excellent job!! I am very proud of him!!